SOLT and Corapi – UPDATED

Well, after hanging back on this story in order to verify it, it does appear — via The SOLT’s own website — that the society did release a statement today that reads, in part:

As the Society was engaging [a fact-finding] team, Fr. Corapi filed a civil lawsuit against his principal accuser. He contended that she had defamed him and breached her contract. The contract, according to Corapi’s lawsuit, contained a provision binding the woman to silence about him. He offered the woman $100,000 to enter this agreement.

SOLT’s fact-finding team subsequently learned that Fr. Corapi may have negotiated contracts with other key witnesses that precluded them from speaking with SOLT’s fact-finding team. Many of these witnesses likely had key information about the accusations being investigated and declined to answer questions and provide documents.

When the fact-finding team asked Fr. Corapi to dismiss the lawsuit, to forbear from foreclosing his mortgage, and to release her and other individuals from their contractual obligations to remain silent about him, he refused to do so and, through his canonical advocate, stated: “It is not possible for Father Corapi to answer the Commission’s questions at this time.”

SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.

SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.

SOLT’s prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry.

Father Sheehan will not be available for comments as he is attending the SOLT General Chapter from July 5-23.

I frankly thought this thing was a hoax at first, and that Raymond Arroyo’s site had been hacked. Color me a skeptic, I am always leery of sensational things, and this is certainly sensational. Deacon Greg broke the news early and then — for the sake of fairness — pulled back, awaiting confirmation, which has now come from several credible sources (including one of my own sources at National Catholic Register), and which Catholic Radio host Al Kresta has also independently confirmed.

Why had we wondered, and sought verification? Because of the manner in which the SOLT put out their statement — they didn’t post it to their website — the thing was up elsewhere for hours before they finally got around to doing so.

The statement was a bomb, and they had to know it. Instead of owning it, SOLT tried to throw it discretely. But there are no discreet bombs.

What now? Well, SOLT says “with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.”

Heh. Good luck. Corapi sent a letter to SOLT resigning from the Society on June 3rd. Perhaps they have not yet “accepted” that resignation, but it seems highly unlikely to me that John Corapi — who has rebranded himself as the “Black Sheepdog,” with the stated intention of broadening his public outreach in order to guard and feed “the entire world” is going to get back into his grey robes and live in community with his confreres.

But see, this was the problem, to begin with. Corapi’s bio stated that he was a “fully professed priest” with the SOLT, but apparently his profession did not involve a vow of poverty, and the society allowed him to live independently (which flies in the face of the whole notion of “community” and “society”) and to work without supervision or accountability.

Frankly, if John Corapi is in spiritual turmoil, right now — and if the statement is true, it would seem that he is — then this society, by their inattention to their “fully professed” priest, has some culpability for that.

Is the statement true? I know a lot of Corapi’s fans are insisting it “cannot be.” But of course, any man can sin; no one is perfect, save Christ (with whom, it must be admitted, a few of the self-proclaimed “Corapians” sometimes seem to confuse him). Since Corapi has amply demonstrated that he’s a man who is not afraid of bringing lawsuits, we can assume that SOLT has information which would prevent them from being sued for libel, and that they’ve dotted all their i’s and crossed their t’s.

If they have not (and nothing about this crew suggests that they are masters of organization, to me) the Black Sheepdog will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

More importantly, if the SOLT has the proof they assert, then John Corapi is in serious trouble and he needs prayers, as do his fans, and really, the whole church. A great deal of healing will have to take place. Writes Fr. Z:

Corapi has an immortal soul. He is need of a Savior just like the one writing this and you who are reading this. And I would remind you that you, dear reader, are not sinless and neither am I. Many people who admired Corapi will want to know what happens in his case, but I urge you to examine your consciences for your motives. Those who didn’t like him, consider first your own state of soul and God’s mercy. In any event, pray for him, who seems to be very troubled, and for all the people who have been harmed in the matter.

Why now? Well, the SOLT is trying to become a pontifical. Since Corapi has gone BSD, there has been a great deal of division. A bishop who is by all accounts a good shepherd has been slandered. Some of the faithful — in reality thousands, but not millions — are in turmoil. If SOLT wants to move from being a Society to a real order, it needs to take control of this destructive story — they couldn’t have it hanging out there, like laundry in the shade; they needed the story folded and put away. A couple of correspondents have speculated thusly:

The tone of the statement [by SOLT] is much testier, even angry, compared to the last, more pastoral one. The Black Sheepdog stuff just went a bridge too far, I think, and when you read over the comments there and elsewhere, it’s clear his “fans” had crossed the threshold into a cult. It must have galled [SOLT] that he kept apparently saying things that were untrue, and making the SOLT and Mulvey out to be the villains.

Perhaps. Who knows? As to Bishop Mulvey, another writes:

“Without any substantive proof that Bishop Mulvey had it in for the SOLT [as some Corapi fans allege] my approach is to follow CCC 2248 and interpret the bishop’s actions in the most favorable light. It’s just possible that he could later prove instrumental in saving SOLT.”

Again, perhaps.

My own feelings?
The author of chaos is loving this story — the sower of all confusion and discord has been having a ball with it, setting Catholics against each other, encouraging paranoia, conspiracy theories, all manner of uncharitable behavior and hysteria. Christ is not in hysteria, and that should be the first clue that this is the devil’s own operation, regardless of where the sin began. I tried to stop writing about it after spending a little time in the muck of it and feeling spiritual oppression that was only lifted by going to Adoration, and praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

The story is not over, clearly. Pray for John Corapi. Pray for Bishop Mulvey. Pray for all priests. Pray for each other. Pray, pray, pray.

I’ll be updating with other links as I find them. For the time being comments will remain open, but as soon as people start opening their cans o’ crazy (and there has not been a Corapi thread yet, that hasn’t seen the cans shaken and then sprayed) I will close them, and all surrounding threads.

Everyone, keep your heads. When all is said and done, you know, God still wins. I read the book.

UPDATE: Fr. Dwight Longenecker, though not mentioning Corapi in this piece, says “Look for the Little Ones”

Where shall we find a holy person? Where shall we find a saint? It is difficult because the real saint is hidden and humble and holy. Instead of looking for the hidden holy ones we fall for the celebrity ‘saint’. We want the big dramatic conversion story. We want the dynamic, uncompromising speaker. We like the one who speaks out on sin and rails against the devil.

Do read it all! It’s very good.

Also, scroll down here for some thoughts on the heroism of workaday priests:

For those who like to think in terms of troops and soldiers, these unremarkable, faithful servants are the guys — they’re on the front lines, every day, doing their duty, standing a watch, taking a lot of abuse from haters and know-nothings, and from some in their own congregations who don’t understand why they can’t be better, smarter, more charismatic. They suffer for the sins of the church; they pay for their otherness with a measure of loneliness and misunderstanding. They hardly ever get invited to supper, anywhere, and their intentions almost never get prayed for, because most of us are too busy either criticizing them or bringing our troubles to them.

Yet they keep at it, every single day: a life lived in service to the sacraments, in service to the sheep.

And we don’t thank them, enough.

ALSO UPDATE: Also writing:
Mark Shea
Phil Lawler
Dr. Gerard Nadal
Abbey Roads
Jimmy Akin
Frank Weathers
Fr. Dwight Longenecker (breaking)
Creative Minority Report
Blogger Priest
Scott Dodge
Medley Minute
America Magazine

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Donna V.

    132: Brett: Thank you for your kindness and charity. You are a brother in Christ to us.

  • simple soul

    i concur with “Roamin’ Catholic”. I was listening again to one of his talks from last year and found his comments about his red harley, his martial arts training and “sheena, queen of the jungle” to be very odd. furthermore he retold his conversion story and it was almost as if he was proud of his past – that he was a mulit-millionaire, driving a red ferrari, dating aspiring actresses, he was the first in his class for 3 of his four degrees. there seemed to be some arrogance and pride that wasn’t there before (or maybe more profound than before). He also kept saying,”don’t have preconceived notions about alot of things, cos i might just shock you…” sadly, these turned out to be prophetic words.

    i did learn much from his talks and they inspired me to take my faith more seriously. the whole thing is sad. thankfully, i follow Christ and His church and not a cult of personality preacher.

  • Richard W Comerford

    RE: Invitation vs Order

    There is a difference between an invitation and an order. The order in question was apparently issued today. Corapi, me thinks, should be allowed just a little time to comply with the order before he is accused of disobedience. .

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • tf21

    Well my wording may not be exactly right, I’m quoting from
    Memory. But it was implied how the decision of Fr. Corapi to ignore it was not taken heed. I think this goes to show why in this present press release the superior became
    Clear of his previous ntention. You are of course free to check the article and interview on YouTube for yourself. :)

    Now, that it’s made public that Fr. C is required by obedience to be in community from his Superior, let’s hope and pray his “big announcement” on thursday is about complying with this order to be in community.

  • tf21

    Oh sorry, I’m using my mobile device to
    Type. I meant it was implied that the superior was disappointed about Fr. Corapi ignoring the invitation/order to be in community. And like I said, ppl seemed to be splitting hairs over this and therefore, they’ve obviously made it clear in this recent press release.

  • tf21

    Like I said, tomorrow, Thursday he has a big announcement. Knowing full well he is bound by obedience to join in community, let’s hope he will use it as a means to let everybody know that he is in fact following his vow of obedience to his superior by being in community.

  • tf21

    The “invitation” was also in keeping with the 1994 Revision of SOLT constitution that everyone should be in community. Afterall SOLT had “begun to address the issues of members who joined the society before the new constitution..” so for me, before this press release if I’m a SOLT priest and I combine, invitation of superior and the fact that it’s a requirement anyhow, I should comply. Thankfully, they’ve have been more clear with their words and used “under obedience”.

  • Mike

    What I found strange about the SOLT statement was that I didn’t see any request to pray for Fr. Corapi. Shouldn’t that be our first duty for anyone caught in sin, however heinous? He may have left the Order and seriously damaged it, but simply as a brother in Christ, SOLT should have expressed some concern for his soul in my opinion.

    Also, while I admire SOLT priests for their orthodoxy, I’ve known a few who have been mavericks and allowed to do pretty much as they pleased, with minimum oversight. Perhaps the Order needs some examination.

  • mac

    Mark 4:
    36And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

    The current storm and waves are no different – The Lord is with us. It is He we trust and He who will be victorious. May God’s merciful & tender love enfold and protect the souls of Fr. Corapi and all priests.

  • Allan Wafkowski

    Fr. Corapi, a man in his sixties, has a very good chance of being dead within ten or fifteen years. I’m utterly perplexed how he could be so spiritually shallow as to give up salvation for a few years of dubious material pleasure. Did the man every have authentic faith?

  • Richard W Comerford

    “I’m utterly perplexed how he could be so spiritually shallow as to give up salvation for a few years of dubious material pleasure.”

    Only God and Corapi know the state of Corapi’s soul. And there has been no judicial finding made against Corapi. Nor has SOLT yet stated that Corapiis is guilty of the accusations. Nor has Corapi admitted guilt. From the SOLT Statement:

    “SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:”

    Weaselly lawyer language.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    Mr. Comeford,

    As far as the promises:

    Priests are required to make “promises” of poverty, chastity, and obedience. All Catholics are called to strive for these three things. Priests all the more so, to where they bind themselves to follow it. Fr. Sheehan mentions that in the press release.

    That’s different from a “vow” of poverty. at that point, his income would have to go to his religious community in communal living.

    Just like religious order priests make a “vow” of celibacy. Parish/secular priests make a “promise” of the same. The end result? neither can marry.

    For the lay faithful here, the distinction between “promise” and “vow” is a distinction without a difference, something for the canon lawyers in weighing penalties and whether or not to release one from it. He is still called to live that life.

    As far as his riches, the amount of property he owns is public record, and he has spoken in numerous speeches about his very considerable wealth. The tax information for Santa Cruz Media is also public domain stuff.

    Do you at least concede that if indeed such wealth is present, that is very troubling in the case RE: Fr. Corapi?

    The “fact-finding” team had access to Fr. Corapi’s phone information, texts, emails, etc. I highly doubt they did it via hacking. They either had his initial co-operation, or implied co-operation as amember of SOLT to surrender such access in an investigation.

  • sj

    “that enables him to say that Fr. Corapi is in the grip of the devil? Seems like a widely speculative and uncharitable statement to me.”

    Any time mortal sin is afoot the devil is around. Nothing uncharitable about that statement.

  • Joe in Canada

    the business about him having access to all that wealth is not all that obscure. In any religious order, if a member is the president of an apostolate, he or she might have access to lots of money that does not belong to the order. It’s almost always a bit arbitrary where to draw the line. To give an example, does the priest or brother who is president of a school of his order need his local superior’s permission to fly to a meeting of presidents of schools of that order, if the school pays for it? Not necessarily. In this case, Fr Corapi’s apostolate was ‘grandfathered’ in. That might have been a mistake, but it is not uncommon when a religious order or congregation ‘adopts’ a new apostolate.

    I appreciate the fact that the SOLT announcement uses the title “Father” for Fr Corapi. His resignation is canonically meaningless; the Society will decide if he is a member, and the Church will decide if he is a priest.

  • Supergirl333

    I would like to know why SOLT wasn’t aware of Fr. Corapi’s actions. How were they oblivious to the fact that Fr. Corapi had one million dollars in real estate, luxury vehicles and a secular publisher? And how do we know that the witnesses aren’t lying to get back at Fr. Corapi for some unknown reason? Can their statements be corroborated?

  • Richard W Comerford

    “at that point, his income would have to go to his religious community in communal living.”

    I would not know. I have never seen the original SOLT constitution or rule. I do not know what Corapi promised under the old rule. I have not seen the new SOLT rule. I have no idea if Corapi has promised to abide with the new rule. In any case SOLT has not yet accused him of withholding his income.

    “As far as his riches, the amount of property he owns is public record, and he has spoken in numerous speeches about his very considerable wealth. The tax information for Santa Cruz Media is also public domain stuff.”

    So. What is he worth> Bottom line. After debt and taxes?

    “Do you at least concede that if indeed such wealth is present, that is very troubling in the case RE: Fr. Corapi?”

    DidCorapi make a promise of poverty? Has SOLT pursuant to Canon Law laid accused Corapi of violating his alleged
    promise of poverty?

    “The “fact-finding” team had access to Fr. Corapi’s phone information, texts, emails, etc. ”

    I would not know. The SOLT gum shoes did not say where or how or from who they their information. Nor did they claim to have actually seen the information themselves. Hence the weaslley lawyer language in the SOLT statement.

    After 50-years of Scandal the people of God deserve people.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Roamin’ Catholic

    I’m confused about the actual vows that Corapi has taken, and the requirements of his Apostolic Society. Since this storm has broken I’ve read that he was one of the early SOLT, when the founder required that all members have ministries that are self-supporting. I don’t believe they were required to live in community and take an allowance, which probably meant no vow of poverty. Such an arrangement might be a way for an order to get started without financial encumbrances.

    If the SOLT has matured to the point where it can require community and a vow of povety, that’s fine. But I don’t think it can require new vows of someone who volunteered under a prior agreement. In other words, I don’t think that a vow of obedience entitles a superior to demand new vows of a religious. (Don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong about this).

    I don’t have any problem with a priest who derives profit from a work that so many benefit from that they voluntarily pay for his services. Corapi’s success is a measure of the value people placed on his work. In fact it was clear that his products not only sold, but sold at a premium, and still many still ponied up the premium price. I don’t blame Fr. Corapi for attempting to discover what the market would bear. Though I don’t begrudge the wealthy their wealth. People who line up to pay for their products seem to derive sufficient. No injustice that I can see here.

    But some people are not able to maintain detachment from riches even amid plenty. Fr. Corapi’s pre-conversion life entailed the cultivation of many appetites. This perhaps is a special challenge to Fr. Corapi. This may be why it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

    But it’s also a challenge to his confreres. I imagine the SOLT would like to be supported by Fr. Corapi’s revenue stream. I remember also being personally amazed at the vicious envy displayed by some of Fr. Joseph Fessio’s brother Jesuits at his financial success from Ignatius Press. Fessio’s investment in widely publishing the works of Jos. Cd. Ratzinger turned out to align with a growing appetite for his works. It benefitted many people, but also, incidentally perhaps, Fessio. This envy is always unbecoming to Catholic leaders.

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    Mr. Comeford,

    You didn’t answer the question.

    If a priest is living in luxury cars, boats, owning tons of property, do you concede that could be an issue? Can a priest effectively talk about the benefits of self-denial, restraint, and taking up the cross under such circumstances?

    He didn’t have to give his income to SOLT, because, he was not under a vow of poverty. Everyone, and I mean everyone recognizes that. Yet he was still under a PROMISE of poverty, which means don’t go out buying harleys and beamers.

    We know he took a promise of poverty as a “fully-professed” member of SOLT, because Fr. Sheehan has announced, via that press release, and in previous interviews, that it is tough to reconcile this action with his promises of poverty. Also, that if he comes home to live with his religious community, he would have to surrender the good majority of those things. (I am sure reasonable plans would be made for things he still has to pay based off his current income, etc. They wouldn’t just have him default on what he owes and have the repo-men and banks seize it.)

    Where did the fact finding team of SOLT say they didn’t see the information? They said “based off emails.” With all due respect, this is sounding more like black helicopters and tinfoil hats.

    The only people reading this as “weaslley” lawyer language is yourself.

    I’m just curious what would satisfy your evidentiary standards. Must SOLT release every single text message, every single email, every single record they have from the public domain, including how they came across every single peice of information, and release it, completely unredacted to the public? We are not voyeurs, and contrary to popular assumption, some of us still want Fr. Corapi to have some of his dignity left. That’s why we want him to return to his religious community, let a formal canonical proceeding resume, and have this handled outside of a media obsessed culture.

    Yet let’s turn the tables. Do you have actual evidence of misconduct on behalf of SOLT and the Bishop of Corpus Christi? Documents? Sworn statements? Do you have evidence of SOLT handling matters unjustly in the past? Do you have evidence Bishop Mulvey is an unjust Bishop who has denied due process to priests in the past?

    Let’s put our cards on the table. You have none of that. Yet you still insinuate it is a conspiracy of all these people going up against a man whose cause you champion. You then lambaste those you disagree with of rash judgement, and cast aspersions upon lawful Church authorities without a shred of evidence.

  • Richard W Comerford

    “I’m confused about the actual vows that Corapi has taken, and the requirements of his Apostolic Society.”

    Corapi has not taken vows. SOLT is a Diocesan Society of Apostolic Life. It is not a religious order. SOLT’s members do not take vows.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Kate

    Is it possible that the “promise of poverty” in this case involves something like a commitment to live a life of relative modesty and simplicity–ownership of a reasonable amount of property needed to carry out a ministry, e.g., an decent, reliable automobile, but not the most expensive car on the market. I really don’t know, but I have always supposed that the way SOLT was set up, something like that would have been in effect for its members.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Promise of Poverty

    Has Corapi made a promise of poverty? I do not know. If he has SOLT has not published a copy of the alleged promise of poverty. SOLT has also not accused Corapi of violating his alleged promise of poverty.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford.

  • James

    I was inspired by Fr Corapi. I first encountered his preaching on EWTN about seven years ago. I found his message to be orthodox and refreshing in a Church that had been far too corrupted by heresies from all sorts of internal directions.

    Having said that, I did become suspicious of the man’s lifestyle and motives about a year or so ago with his change in appearance. The loss of weight was one thing, but the shaved head and dyed jet-black goatee and eyebrows instantly made me uneasy. Not to mention a few pictures on his Facebook page of him wearing a flashy black and silver jacket while signing autographs. Why would a priest, especially a man in his sixties, be that vain and that concerned about his appearance? Seriously. What does that say about his spiritual priorities?

    But what really tipped me off was his last video. I had subscribed to his website for over a year and a half, and in one of his last video-taped sermons earlier this year, his eyes were very puffy and glazed. And his sermon seemed to be redundant and rambling. It had all the marks of someone who was possibly under the influence, and who was simply producing hastily made “product”.

    Why am I stating all of this?

    Simple: To explain why the recent revelations about Corapi (devastating as they were) did not hit me with the same full-blown cognitive dissonance as it did with many of Corapi’s supporters. In short: The writing was on the wall with this man. It only required open eyes and open ears to be seen and heard.

    Now here’s my point: Was the message that Corapi espoused false? No. Was the man’s convictions false? Obviously yes. At least, as time went on. And that’s the grand point to be taken from all of this-

    we must all separate the message from the man. After-all, even the worst of sinners can reveal great truth.

    So in the end all we can do is learn from this. We should never hold any messenger in too high of regards. Always center your faith on the message and not the messenger. We are all sinners in love with our sins. We are all prideful creatures who are constantly called to fight the good fight each and every day of our mortal lives. So pray for Corapi. Pray for his supporters. Pray for his critics. Pray for Our Beloved Church. Pray for ourselves. Pray pray pray.

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    Richard,

    Do you have a copy of you parish’ priest’s copy of a promise of celibacy?

    Or are you just looking to continue moving the goalposts back?

    What part of this don’t you understand:

    “A woman, well known to Fr. John Corapi, mailed SOLT a signed letter detailing allegations of Fr. Corapi’s sexual activity with adult women, abuse of alcohol and drugs, improper sacramental practices, VIOLATION OF HIS PROMISE OF POVERTY, and other wrongdoing……

    He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a SERIOUS VIOLATION OF HIS PROMISE OF POVERTY as a perpetually professed member of the Society.” July 5th Press Release from Rev. Gerard Sheehan, SOLT Regional Priest Servant Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Robstown, Texas

    To say that SOLT hasn’t mentioned whether or not he took a promise of poverty, or whether or not he has violated that is to just ignore the facts in the case.

    So now that we have established that he did ineed take vows, and SOLT indeed finds him in violation of them, let’s again ask that question of you Mr. Comeford:

    If a priest is living in luxury cars, boats, owning tons of property, do you concede that could be an issue? Can a priest effectively talk about the benefits of self-denial, restraint, and taking up the cross under such circumstances?

    That’s irrespective of whether or not he made a promise of poverty. Yet it’s obvious he did make one.

  • Roamin’ Catholic

    I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Comerford. It is unseemly for the SOLT to offer a confession of sin on behalf of Fr. Corapi, and especially to do so in a press release.

    Perhaps they consider it prudent to distance themselves from him. Certainly it is reasonable for SOLT to publish an opinion to the effect that it finds him unfit for priestly ministry, but note that he has withdrawn from public ministry voluntarily. He may have abused illegal drugs and kept a prostitute, I don’t know. Some of the other “facts” don’t necessarily point to anything sinful or illegal. Why were these included? Were they intended to just show us what a true low-life Corapi is? What is this, Rolling Stone, or The View?

    Having evidence consistent with guilt is anything but proof, nor is it an orderly judicial process. Publishing it may be libel.

    Since when does a religious superior confess the sins of another, even if he “just knows” that he’s right?

  • Joe

    The comments on this article about Corapi certainly put the medical lawsuit in a different light:

    http://www.redding.com/news/2011/jul/06/priest-accused-of-improper-behavior/#comments

    They assert that Corapi’s case was a scam itself – and frivolous.

  • http://www.gerardnadal.com Gerard Nadal

    Richard,

    The entire affair boils down to one word: OBEDIENCE.

    Either Father Corapi practices it, or he does not. The validation of all that he has preached hinges on whether or not he lives up to his own sacramental obligations.

    I know that Paul tells us to pay a man double what we would have if he preaches the gospel well, but a priest living as the new Jim and Tammy Fae Baker, and all the rest of the televangelists doesn’t do the Apostolic brand much good.

  • Jim H

    All priests are required to have a “promise” of respect and obedience to either their bishop or major superior. They are also required to promise to say the Liturgy of the Hours. Beyond these requirements, some priests choose to become members of Orders or other expressions of religious life such as a Society of Apostolic Life like SOLT. Nobody forced Fr. John Corapi to become a member of SOLT and it seems relatively unclear what promises he made within the society even though it is their claim that he was under a promise of poverty now.

    A deceased bishop I knew died with over $2 million in assets. There are also many priests, usually diocesean who have considerable assets. Having money as a priest is not in and of itself immoral or a violation of a religious promise.

    I believe the hardest promise a priest makes is the promise of obedience because the promise is binding no matter the worthiness of the bishop or religious superior to whom it is made. When a superior demands that a priest do something that would violate his legal rights against self incrimination, that crosses a boundry that cannot and should not be expected. If there was a relationship that violated Fr. Corapi’s commitment, it was most probably not a relationship that could be considered “illegal.” I really don’t know what actually happened, but I do know how the institutional church operates.

  • kris

    from wiki:

    Qui tam False Claims Act lawsuitFurther information: Tenet Healthcare

    Corapi filed a qui tam False Claims Act lawsuit against Redding Medical Center cardiologist Chae Hyun Moon after Moon informed Corapi in 2002 that he was in immediate need of triple bypass surgery, but then told Corapi that the procedure could wait three weeks. Corapi decided to seek other medical advice and it was found he had perfectly clear arteries. Corapi ultimately went to the FBI and filed the suit that was the basis of an FBI raid and a multi-year investigation into Moon’s practice.[11]

    The United States Department of Justice reached a settlement with four cardiologists and Tenet Healthcare, the owner of Redding Hospital, during 2005, in part due to Corapi’s initial complaint. Three physicians settled for a total of $24 million USD. Moon, the target of Corapi’s lawsuit, paid $1.4 million USD and agreed to never perform cardiology procedures or surgeries on Medicare, Medi-Cal or Tricare patients.[12] Moon’s medical license was eventually revoked in 2007 for gross negligence, among other charges.

    Corapi was awarded $2,712,281 USD for his role as a whistleblower in the False Claims Act Lawsuit as well as the $500,000 USD he and his friend were awarded for the insurance case they filed.[13] His involvement as a whistle-blower in the federal investigation of the practices in the Redding Medical Center played an important role in Stephen Klaidman’s non-fiction book Coronary.
    __________________________________

    In another statement SOLT mentions that Corapi’s year group, prior to new community laws, did not take the vow of poverty (as also mentioned by the former bishop who originally brought the community to the diocese) and there was no mention of a “promise”. There HAS been a mention by superior of a “promise” of obedience. That would appear to be the same as diocesan priests take.

  • kris

    After reading the pdf of Corapi’s court filing over at Akin’s blog … with request for trial by jury!!:

    Still have a lot of info to be understood.

    The pdf states that the termination agreement was made in 2009 and covered observance for 5 years. Corapi’s various statements have claimed that he had been helping accuser and husband for some time – both of whom he stated as having alcohol problems and instability. This agreement apparently keeps the husband employed through various services as a contractor as well as children who also may continue to provide services there and it is acknowledged that “accuser” would still maintain contact with husband and children. The main concerns of the agreement seem to deal with “accuser” being prevented from coming on premises of business or of Corapi’s properties and from harassing those involved with them.

    The other employees’ statements have mentioned such type harassment/attack of themselves on the premises by the “accuser”. When? Between termination date and date of termination contract or continuing? Why wouldn’t the husband/children, if said harassments had some justification based upon the accusations contained in “accuser’s” letter, be included as persons who could also have reason then to harass Corapi, the business, or other employees??? But they weren’t. Wouldn’t they of all people also know if that termination action taken against “accuser” in 2009 by Fr. Corapi was justified? Then why would they agree to continue working for him?

    Why are people assuming that such a termination contract, back in 2009, was therefore not due to real harassment, attempting to protect the remaining employees, and why would the rest of the family agree to remain employed (and the other employees agree to have them there) if wife/mother was involved with or was herself being mistreated or endangered by Corapi?

    Is the answer only that they were paid off? But then it would appear that this employer wasn’t their only employment since they only occasionally performed services for the business. And is there no real bond between the family members and their wife/mother? It doesn’t appear that the husband/children was included in this agreement so he could speak out about the situation. Have they gone public themselves with any info? Someone mentioned the daughter having said something – stating mother couldn’t talk due to agreement – but the court case is against the one bound by the termination contract, identified as the “accuser” so the daughter must not be the letter writer.

    With the findings/evidence thus far related by SOLT why would Corapi ask for trial by jury?

    Others appear to have acquired more info so perhaps they can answer such questions. Just asking the questions for greater clarity – not taking sides. So much still unknown to do otherwise.

  • Christine

    Joe,
    It was not a frivolous lawsuit. Dr. Moon was stripped of his license for committing fraud against thousands of patients. You can read about the settlement agreement here:

    http://mathiasconsulting.com/cases/2005/11/CA/redding

    I’m willing to hear the truth about Fr. Corapi, but let’s not bring nonsense into the discussion. The whole lawsuit, including the FBI’s investigation, was detailed in the book “Coronary”, which anyone can read for himself.

  • Richard W Comerford

    RE: The entire affair boils down to one word: OBEDIENCE. Either Father Corapi practices it, or he does not.”

    So far, to my knowledge, Corapi has received an order from SOLT, citing Canon Law suspending him from the active priesthood. He has obeyed said order.

    Yesterday he received more order Orders from SOLT to include dropping a Civil Action and returning to community. Yesterday;s order did not cite Canon Law. Nor did it cite SOLT’s constitution. I have no idea whether Corapi is under any type of obligation to obey said orders.

    Interestingly, as far as I know, SOLT has not yet accused Coapi of disobedience.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    “Do you have a copy of you parish’ priest’s copy of a promise of celibacy?”

    He has not been accused of misconduct with a woman.

    “Or are you just looking to continue moving the goalposts back?”

    I am looking for justice.

    “VIOLATION OF HIS PROMISE OF POVERTY”

    What promise? What did the alleged promise entail? When did he take it? Why is it an issue now?

    “He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate,”

    Out of context. Not a statement of fact. See below:

    “SOLT’s fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi’s e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry”

    “To say that SOLT hasn’t mentioned whether or not he took a promise of poverty, or whether or not he has violated that is to just ignore the facts in the case.”

    Well, has Corapi made a promise of poverty or not? Did he sign the promise? is there a copy. Why is it a big secret?

    “So now that we have established that he did ineed take vows”

    No. Members of SOLT cannot take vows.

    “and SOLT indeed finds him in violation of them”

    No. There is not statement from SOLT that Corapi has either taken or violated one or more vows.

    “If a priest is living in luxury cars, boats, owning tons of property, do you concede that could be an issue?”

    You mean like the Pope?

    “Can a priest effectively talk about the benefits of self-denial, restraint, and taking up the cross under such circumstances?”

    Pope Benedict XVI is pretty effective.

    “Yet it’s obvious he did make one.”

    Well then cite the contents of the alleged vow.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    184 comments; things are becoming redundant. I think this conversation is exhausted. Since he has announced that he will be making another announcement later today, let’s pick it up in another thread. Comments closed.


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